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Guidelines for Ballast and Wedge


Minnesota1

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I just bought a Malibu vRide last December and am picking it up next weekend. My last boat was a Glastron Runabout. (Great little ski boat, by the way, and it is for sale).

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody can give me tips on general guidelines for how much ballast to use and wedge settings for boarders at different levels. I have no idea where to start and will be playing around with this quite a bit this summer but it would be great to have a rough idea of where to start.

Thanks for your advice,

MN1

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I too game from a runabout recently!

Ballast - I fill up as soon as I hit the water. I am their to wakeboard so I need the weight. I have a friend who told me he always keeps the middle half full when on the water to help his boat ride better.

Wedge - My 06 unfortunately has the oldest, locked down wedge. I have it up until we are starting runs, then I lock it down. I don't bother having it down for beginners who are just getting up or not crossing wake yet.

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If you put your wedge down you have to have weight in the bow or it really does not work well. Mine is an 04 VLX (for sale) and I had to integrate ballast in the bow to get the most effect out of the wedge.

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I'm sure I'll be in the minority on this but will throw it out anyway...... Dontknow.gif

Take the Wedge off & put it in the garage. Fill the tanks & ride.

The Wedge makes the boat drive like a 60s Ford pickup, makes it suck the gas, and makes the wake mushy (possibly bigger too). No matter if we're on a foil or a board we seem to get better pop out of the wake if it's just using ballast. I'm sure thats because of the additional air in the wake the Wedge creates, making it mushy. If the stock 900 isn't enough, there are plenty of people here who can explain how to add more ballast in the bow &/or rear lockers.

And that goes for my Vride, my brother's old XTI, Jeff's new XTI, Curley's VTX, Q's new LSV or LC's old LSV. They all seem to perform best & deliver the best wake with ballast.

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Is the 08 vride on the 05+ wakesetter hull? If so I can't comment too much on weight vs. wedge. But if it's on the pre 05 wakesetter hull (and yes I am too lazy to look it up), I would wakeboard without the wedge and surf with it.

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Bill all the boats you list I don't think come with ballast up front.... and what you say is true... till I figured out that you had to have weight in the bow... that is why all the other years after 04 came out with ballast upfront (and you really want more). To see the difference quickly, fill you ballast, put your wedge down and add 300 or 400 lbs of people up front... the rider will see the difference. we learndby trying to ride with the people in the main compartment then walking them upfront in the middle of the ride with the rider watch the wake shape (big difference) We also notice that our gas consumption went back to normal (like not having the wedge down and ballast full... this is assuming you are not doing a lot of starting and stopping.

My 04VLX I figure I have 400lbs in ballast in the nose and the wake is great with it their.

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Is the 08 vride on the 05+ wakesetter hull? If so I can't comment too much on weight vs. wedge. But if it's on the pre 05 wakesetter hull (and yes I am too lazy to look it up), I would wakeboard without the wedge and surf with it.

No, it's on the older '04 VLX hull (SV23). '09 Vride has the '05-'08 VLX hull.

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Great info. Experienced riders will know what they want, but what should I be doing with riders that have no or little experience. I'd like to get an idea of where to start. How would you set up the ballast and wedge for:

Adults who are learning

Intermediate adults

Agressive adults

Kids learning to ride

Kids who are pretty good at wakeboarding

Others...

Thanks!!

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Adults who are learning: No ballast, no wedge

Intermediate adults: Some ballast, no wedge (or wedge full down, their call)

Agressive adults: Give 'em everything, make 'em beg for mercy

Kids learning to ride: No ballast, no wedge

Kids who are pretty good at wakeboarding: A combination of whatever they like, they'll usually tell you. :)

Others...

In general, people will tell you what they like. The wedge will steepen the wake & add some lip (dependent on speed). Weight in the back will steepen as well, but soften the wake. Weight up front will ramp out the wake, but harden it. The best combo (IMO) for advanced riders is to use a combination of weight both front & rear (more up front though, Malibu hulls love weight up front), & use the wedge. The weight up front in combination with the wedge & weight in the rear will add "meat" to the top of the wake & make it a lot more solid. What this does is reduce the tendency of good riders to "punch through" the top of a soft wake, & with correct technique they'll realize all of the potential pop out of it as a result.

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In general, people will tell you what they like. The wedge will steepen the wake & add some lip (dependent on speed). Weight in the back will steepen as well, but soften the wake. Weight up front will ramp out the wake, but harden it. The best combo (IMO) for advanced riders is to use a combination of weight both front & rear (more up front though, Malibu hulls love weight up front), & use the wedge. The weight up front in combination with the wedge & weight in the rear will add "meat" to the top of the wake & make it a lot more solid. What this does is reduce the tendency of good riders to "punch through" the top of a soft wake, & with correct technique they'll realize all of the potential pop out of it as a result.

Well for 3 months now I have been trying to figure out why I seem to just hover over the top of the wake with my wedge down. In fact this weekend, my second run did not have the wedge and I was getting much more air. I guess I am punching through the top of the wake when the wedge is down. I am going to learn how to use the fat sacs that came with the boat and see what the difference is.

Thanks for this info WakeGirl

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In general, people will tell you what they like. The wedge will steepen the wake & add some lip (dependent on speed). Weight in the back will steepen as well, but soften the wake. Weight up front will ramp out the wake, but harden it. The best combo (IMO) for advanced riders is to use a combination of weight both front & rear (more up front though, Malibu hulls love weight up front), & use the wedge. The weight up front in combination with the wedge & weight in the rear will add "meat" to the top of the wake & make it a lot more solid. What this does is reduce the tendency of good riders to "punch through" the top of a soft wake, & with correct technique they'll realize all of the potential pop out of it as a result.

Well for 3 months now I have been trying to figure out why I seem to just hover over the top of the wake with my wedge down. In fact this weekend, my second run did not have the wedge and I was getting much more air. I guess I am punching through the top of the wake when the wedge is down. I am going to learn how to use the fat sacs that came with the boat and see what the difference is.

Thanks for this info WakeGirl

Definately add more weight up front, these boats really need it.

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This is how we do it. We do this for our personal use, and when our boat is being used in tournaments.

Very Good riders (Expert, Outlaw, and above) All stock ballast, including front, power wedge full down, 320 lbs hard ballast, 1000 additional lbs. fat sacks, 5-8 people. The more people, the less fat sack weight.

Intermediate riders- All stock ballast and power wedge full down.

Novice riders- Full stock ballast, no wedge

Newbies- No ballast

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A comment about the wedge: The comment advising people to take it off and put it in the garage is ill advised in my opinion.

There is nothing magically great, or inherently evil about the wedge. It simply puts a certain amount of downforce at the rear of the boat. This downforce can also be gotten by adding weight at the rear of the boat. Either way, if a complementary amount of weight is not added toward the front of the boat, you will end up with a wake that is peaky but soft. The comment that the wedge makes the boat drive like a 60's Ford truck is ridiculous. If you add enough weight to compensate for not having the wedge, the boat will not handle as well as if it were unweighted. The wedge is a tremendous convenience, and used properly can help shape and enlarge the wake and reduce the amount of ballast needed. I pull some very good wakeboarders around routinely. Every single one of them insists on the wedge. They can tell in an instant if I forget to put it down. The wedge is a benefit to us Malibu owners. Use it to your advantage.

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Well for 3 months now I have been trying to figure out why I seem to just hover over the top of the wake with my wedge down. In fact this weekend, my second run did not have the wedge and I was getting much more air. I guess I am punching through the top of the wake when the wedge is down. I am going to learn how to use the fat sacs that came with the boat and see what the difference is.

Definately add more weight up front, these boats really need it.

And bump the speed up, any time you add more weight (either physical ballast or the Wedge), you need to increase your speed to keep the wake firm. If you don't, it will get a lot bigger, but also much softer, which makes it easier to edge through the wake.

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I am a very intermediate rider. I load all ballasts and any extra I can find, invite all my friends and adjust the wedge to max position. There are those that say I'm adding too much to offset a lack of technique or poor form, but I'm late 30s not in top notch shape and I want this overly expensive hydrotractor to give me all the advantage I can get. my $.02 only

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So, I've also hear that when you are pulling a skier that it helps to have ballast in the bow of the boat (no ballast in the tanks). Does anybody have experience with this and what do you use that is easy to find?

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So, I've also hear that when you are pulling a skier that it helps to have ballast in the bow of the boat (no ballast in the tanks). Does anybody have experience with this and what do you use that is easy to find?

Are you talking about for shortline slalom skiing? or are you talking about recreational skiing? If you're pulling your monther-in-law on a set of combos like I do about once per year, don't worry about ballast or weight distribution. If you have a diehard wake-crossing slalom guy or gal, I'd fill the bow ballast and try to offload as much other unnecessary gear as possible.

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So, I've also hear that when you are pulling a skier that it helps to have ballast in the bow of the boat (no ballast in the tanks). Does anybody have experience with this and what do you use that is easy to find?

I've read that a few times from hard core skiers using bow rider Responses (many hard cores hate bow riders). Definitely depends on the skier & conditions though.

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So, I've also hear that when you are pulling a skier that it helps to have ballast in the bow of the boat (no ballast in the tanks). Does anybody have experience with this and what do you use that is easy to find?

This only applies to more wakeboard centric boats (like your vRide), and is a method of essentially creating more "hook" in the hull, to life the transom out of the water. Slalom specific boats have this hook as a part of the mold the boat is built from, but it is removed on wakeboard boats because it counteracts the effects of ballast.

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Since by vRide does not have a bow ballast tank, what are some options for adding weight in the bow?

ballast bag or things like water jugs, fat dudes or other forms of heavy weight

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Or just fill the center tank partially (maybe halfway) if you're only referring to adding weight for skiing.

If you have the 3 tank system (and especially if you have the Wedge), the boat can use weight in the bow anyway. In that case, Fly High's Integrated Bow Sac is a good choice, or if you're comfortable you can run lead up front.

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